#DailyDevotion The Man Of Lawlessness Has Nothing On Us
2 Thess. 2 Our Lord Jesus Christ is coming, and we’ll be gathered to meet Him. But we ask you, fellow Christians, 2not to lose your heads so quickly or get alarmed either by a “spirit” message or by any word or letter that seemed to come from us, saying “The day of the Lord has already come!” 3Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way. First there must be a revolt, and the man of sin must be revealed, who is doomed to destruction, 4who opposes and sets himself above anyone who is called God or anything we worship, so that he sits in God’s temple and proclaims he is God. 5Don’t you remember I told you this when I was still with you? And now you know what’s holding him back so that he will be revealed when his time comes. 7This wicked thing is already working secretly, but only until he who is now holding it back gets out of the way. 8Then the wicked one will be revealed, and the Lord Jesus will destroy him with the breath of His mouth and wipe him out by coming and showing Himself.
So we have this comforting promise that our Lord Jesus Christ is coming and we’ll be gathered to meet him. Indeed when he returns, the dead in Christ will rise first and we’ll be changed and meet the Lord in the air. Now it always happens there are some Chicken Little Christians out there are get alarmed and think the sky is falling. Well they’re not completely wrong. The sky is falling but we shouldn’t be alarmed by it. In Paul’s day, some people thought the resurrection already took place and they missed it. They are much like some of our friends who erringly believe in a premillenial rapture. If somehow they thought they missed the rapture they would be devastated.
So before the Lord returns, there needs to be a revolt. This revolt takes place IN the Christian Church. You need to burn your Left Behind series books or please at least treat them as fiction. The man of lawlessness, the man of lawlessness, sometimes you may call him the Antichrist, must first come. And here’s the thing, you can quit looking for a political leader. You can also forget about a temple being restored in Jerusalem. You see he sets himself up in the Temple of God and proclaims himself as God. The Temple of God is the Church. This man of lawlessness, the Antichrist is a Church leader. For a while St. Paul says, the Holy Spirit was holding him back, even though he was at work secretly in the Church.
But he has been revealed and for quite some time now. There is one who claims if you want to be saved you must be in submission to him. He has set himself up in God’s temple the Church. Pope Boniface VIII in 1302 wrote a letter, Unam Sanctum. Much of it is very good. Then he ends is with this line, “Furthermore, that every human creature is subject to the Roman pontiff, – this we declare, say, define, and pronounce to be altogether necessary to salvation.” What is this but arrogating to yourself divinity. Granted, as a pastor to St. John’s Lateran in Rome, the pope like every pastor is bestowed the authority, through the Church, by Jesus Christ to forgive and retain sins.
On top of this, Rome has declared in the Council of Trent, you cannot be certain you are saved nor is faith in Jesus Christ alone sufficient for salvation. It has declared was St. Paul in his letters to the Romans in chapter seven not be sin what Paul clearly says is sin, namely the passions of the flesh. For these and many other errors, it has been revealed the papacy is the ‘man of sin’, the Antichrist. This he does all the while holding up Christ. The devil is indeed still the most cunning creature in all of God’s creation.
The Good News is we need not fear this nor the ‘Man of Sin’ i.e. the Antichrist. Jesus who is the real Christ stands by our side and will wipe him out with the breath of his mouth. He guards and protects our souls so we may not be deceived by him. He will bring us into his kingdom freely by his grace.
Heavenly Father may we never fear the wiles of Satan, but wholely put our faith in Jesus Christ your son uphold and sustain us unto everlasting life even as he has promised. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.